16 user 14 critic

The Substance of Fire (1996)

R | | Drama | 14 March 1997 (USA)
1:40 | Trailer

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Publishing magnate refuses to publish a book by his son's male lover so the kids buy out their father and run it themselves!



(play), (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aaron Geldhart
Benjamin Ungar ...
Young Isaac Geldhart
Martin Geldhart
Tom McDermott ...
Old Printer
George Morfogen ...
Otto the printer
Isaac Geldhart
Cora Cahn
Mr. Otani jr
Edmund Ikeda ...
Mr. Otani sr
Miss Barzakian
Val Chenard
Gene Byck
Ronny Graham ...
Louis Foukold
John Sullivan ...


Isaac Geldhart is a Holocaust survivor who, overcome by grief at the recent death of his wife, seems determined to run his publishing firm into the ground by printing books that have no hope of financial success. His son Aaron, who also works at the company, grows frustrated with Isaac's emotional decline and attempts to take over the firm. The resulting crisis involves Isaac's other two children, his daughter Sarah and his dying son Martin. Written by Jesse Garon <grifter@primenet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Doing What Is Right... Could Cost Him Everything.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A tűz melege  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$56,221 (USA) (14 March 1997)


$56,221 (USA) (14 March 1997)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Viola Davis. See more »


Social Services worker: It's a process. No one person can come to a conclusion.
See more »


Referenced in Showbiz Today: Episode dated 28 August 1995 (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

A tough drama that's worth sitting through.
5 July 2000 | by (Ann Arbor, MI) – See all my reviews

I have to admit, I once began watching this and didn't get very far. But I tried again and found it very interesting - more interesting, at least, than the other poster. I thought Ronny Graham was hilarious as the elderly, cantankerous author. In fact, there was more humor in the movie than I imagined. Tony Goldwyn and Sarah Jessica Parker could easily pass as siblings, and the children of Ron Rifkin, but Tim Hutton didn't seem to belong to the same family. The most interesting thing to me, and perhaps a reason to watch it, was the brief scene of Goldwyn and Gil Bellows (as his boyfriend) dancing together.

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